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General News    H2'ed 10/2/14

Armed, Violent Family Members Have "Guns Rights" Too Say Gun Nuts About New CA Law

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Is there any constituency whose "gun rights" the gun lobby won't defend? The NRA lobbies for the "gun rights" of the mentally ill, people under orders or protection for domestic violence and convicted felons. When Florida's Sun Sentinel reported that concealed weapon licenses were issued to 1,400 probable felons, NRA lobbyist Marion P. Hammer said, "When you begin taking away the rights of people that you don't like, that's the slippery slope." People you don't like?

Now, after California Governor Jerry Brown signed the nation's first law allowing private citizens to ask a court to seize guns from potentially violent family members, gun advocates are defending... potentially violent family members. The new law could deprive them of their "right to defend themselves," say gun advocates "before they had committed a crime."

Stalking moms pushing strollers
Stalking moms pushing strollers
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The seven family members allegedly killed by their grandfather/father last month in Bell, Florida might have welcomed a law stopping a perpetrator before he "committed a crime." So would the family of six killed in July in Spring, Texas. Both families were allegedly killed by relatives who posed clear and present dangers long before the bloodshed. Most domestic gun violence is easy to predict and the family of the gunman who allegedly killed six in Isla Vista in May, sparking the California law, warned police of the imminent danger.

Last year, an anti-gun violence group wrote about a Nevada woman who repeatedly reached out to state and federal authorities about her former boyfriend obtaining guns despite a conviction for gun-related domestic violence. Both the Henderson, Nevada police department where the conviction occurred and Glendale, Arizona police department where the boyfriend resides, told the group they would have to wait until "something happens."

Man of God attacked by pro-gun activists
Man of God attacked by pro-gun activists
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There is another chilling constituency whose "gun rights" the gun lobby defends. People who want to own a sniper rifle which has no defensive use whatever. When a ban was called for of civilian sales of TrackingPoint's sniper rifles which use "innovative optics, automatic ballistics calculation and guided fire control to create the most accurate long-range shooting system in the world," gun advocates screamed the government was coming after their "hunting rifles." Right.

Does the Second Amendment protect the rights of someone to own a sniper weapon with no defensive use? Do violent, armed family members really need to "defend" themselves when they, in fact, are the perpetrators? Is the NRA really against "bad guys" when it defends the "gun rights" of people under orders or protection for domestic violence, convicted felons, the violent mentally ill and people who want to own sniper weapons?

(Article changed on October 2, 2014 at 11:09)

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Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative public health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by Random (more...)

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